Kenaf is a common source for tree-free paper. The scientific name is Hibiscus cannabinus and it is also known as jute or Deccan hemp. Hemp is a member of the Cannabis sativa species and the two plants are not related.
Ford Motor Company and BMW are implementing kenaf in the manufacturing of automobile bodies to reduce the weight of door bolsters by 25%. While being able to report that a natural-based component is being implemented, a large amount of chemical-based resin is necessary in the production.
Hemp, on the other hand, is more diverse in serving as a sustainable product. Plant based resins from soy, canola or corn are used so that a 100% biocomposite is feasible. The same lightweight structure is accomplished, but the overall structure is greener and stronger.
Kenaf, like cotton, is intolerable to cold weather. Hemp requires the same atmospheric conditions as corn, providing a wider range of crop planting.
According to visionpaper.com:
Kenaf cannot run wild across the country like a weed, because in almost all parts of the U.S., kenaf seeds cannot mature.
Both plants have specific noted value as natural alternatives. Kenaf has softwood fibers of a high quality commonly used in commercial scale paper production. Hemp bast fiber is much longer and stronger, making it commonly used in textiles and rope making.
Both hemp and kenaf can make a significant difference in future materials. However, realizing the difference is important in how they can best be utilized.